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October 09, 2013

Let Freedom Ring! However, You’re Going To Need a Permit For The Bell. – Government Shutdown Edition

“Let Freedom Ring!  However, You’re Going To Need a Permit For The Bell,” is a periodic series in which we explore the new and exciting ways in which the notions of freedom and liberty are being interpreted in our modern and progressive world.

Visiting Yellowstone

OUT: A chance to see the nation’s natural majesty.

IN: A chance to see the nation ruled by His Majesty.

Members of a tour bus group that included many foreign visitors and senior citizens found themselves caught inside Yellowstone National Park when the shutdown began.  Clearly, these were innocent parties, and so the Park Service ensured that armed guards locked them inside their hotel, prevented them from taking pictures, and made sure to surround Old Faithful whenever it was about to erupt.

This might seem extreme, but at least they eventually forced the group to make the two-and-a-half hour drive out of the park without being allowed to stop for a bathroom break.

Some have described these as “Gestapo tactics.”  Come on, this is America!  They were just kept captive inside a large building against their will, denied the ability to take photos, had their activities curtailed by armed guards, and weren’t allowed to go to the bathroom when they wanted.

But Gestapo tactics?  That’s ridiculous.

The Gestapo would have let you go to the bathroom.


OUT: Our most precious resource.

IN: Expendable.

Unlike in, say, Washington DC where, and this is a total coincidence, their bosses work, the National Park Service has closed a number of roads that run through park land, including the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee which is used by a local school district to bus children. Naturally they did this without warning and while school was in session. Why, you ask?

It’s for the children.

You see, the only other roads are impassable by busses and are otherwise considered dangerous “white knuckle” drives even by car.  Now you know what they’re talking about when they say that having a large activist government is important to the safety of your children.

Because otherwise, they’re going to kill them.

Visiting Gettysburg National Military Park

OUT: Viewing Pickett’s charge.

IN: Charging the Pickets.

Due to the government shutdown and the strain that has put on the National Park Service, scores of rangers have been deployed to set up barricades to keep people out of the Gettysburg National Military Park.  However, there is one thing you do not want to get in-between: A history buff, and a Civil War park. And so American citizens are knocking down barricades and entering the park, helping themselves to the park by avoiding the very same Park Rangers they used to seek out for that help.

If you are like most Planet Moron readers, you probably vaguely recall that the Battle of Gettysburg was fought mostly outside, and not in a virtual reality world created by an alien race in order to preserve a record of their civilization (which you are pretty sure now was an episode form Star Trek) and wonder if preventing people from wandering around in an open field is the best use of resources.

That is why you are not a professional White House reporter who knows better than to ask such impertinent questions.

Going Out For a Jog

OUT: A healthy endeavor.

IN: Illegal.

We know that promoting physical fitness is an essential task of the federal government. That is why, while most federal web sites are down, such as the one for the USDA, the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” site is still going strong. Sure, the USDA shutdown limits access to resources vital to farmers and others, but we’ve got school salad bars to promote for God’s sake.

So, why then was a runner who had parked in a remote and un-barricaded parking lot in the Valley Forge National Historical Park greeted upon his return by two very un-furloughed Park Rangers who were waiting to give him a ticket?

You know, you ask a lot of questions. Have you been audited lately?


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October 9, 2013 at 03:03 PM in Current Affairs, Let Freedom Ring! | Permalink


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